Arsenal has been linked to several strikers, and signing a goal-scorer will be Arsene Wenger’s top priority in January. Among all the forward players who have been the subject of speculation, David Villa is the player who would provide the Gunners with the best results.
The Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel reported, “Arsenal have been quoted £16 million for Barcelona striker David Villa. Sportsmail revealed manager Arsene Wenger’s interest in the 31-year-old on Saturday.”
Villa has been a prolific striker throughout his career, but the last two seasons have brought significantly more disappointment than success.
After scoring 18 goals and recording five assists during the 2010-11 season—his first with Barcelona—he missed most of the following campaign with a broken leg and he is currently struggling to get on the pitch.
He has started just six La Liga games for Barça this year while also appearing in six matches as a substitute. But his goal-scoring touch does not appear to have gone away, and he still has beat opposing goalkeepers five times, despite his limited opportunities.
While Villa’s ability to play at the top of Arsenal’s formation in a poaching role will be valuable, it is his versatility that makes him an ideal signing for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger already has Olivier Giroud as a pure striker, and Theo Walcott has made the most of his recent chances to play centre-forward. If the club were to go after a player who can only play down the middle like Newcastle’s Demba Ba or Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente, both Walcott and Giroud would see their roles diminished.
Which striker should be Arsenal's top target?
But Villa’s ability to play out wide or up top will allow Wenger to be flexible with his lineups. Giroud, Walcott and Villa would all be able to get time at centre-forward, while the latter two would also get time at winger.
The other striker creating transfer buzz at the Emirates is Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez, as Goal.com’s Wayne Veysey notes. Lopez, like Villa, has the ability to play multiple attacking positions. But he is only starting to emerge as a top talent.
With several young players receiving regular opportunities at the Emirates, Wenger would be wise to balance his squad with a more experienced player. Villa has proven to be a consistently prolific goal-scorer across his career, and he will produce for the Gunners if given an adequate amount of time on the pitch.
Due to his versatility and experience, Villa would be the player who would give Arsenal the greatest boost going forward.